Sex beast 'the most evil man'

A former girlfriend of serial sex beast Michael Khannan said: "I hope he rots in his jail cell."

The ex-partner, who wishes to remain anonymous, spoke to the Echo as Khannan, 58, faces life behind bars after a jury took just seven minutes to find him guilty of an attempted rape in Peterlee, in 1978, as well as indecent assault.

The mum-of-one, who was living with Khannan at the time he committed the sexual assault, says she had no idea her long-term boyfriend was capable of such sickening crimes, and told how she still has nightmares about their eight-year relationship – 18 years on.

And she labelled him "the most evil man I've ever met".

She said she met Khannan shortly after he was released early from a six-year jail term for the rape of a woman and two indecent assaults on girls under 14 in South Shields in 1973.

She said: "When I first met him, he said he'd just been released from prison for burglary. I had no reason not to believe him.

"I remember thinking he was extremely good-looking and he was so charming. He swept me off my feet.

"It didn't take long to get in his clutch, and he never let go after that.

"I heard whispers about his past at the start of the relationship, but he said it was lies. I didn't think he'd be capable of something like that.

"What can I say? I fell for it. I'm so ashamed of myself. I was so stupid for believing him."

She added: "I hope he rots in his jail cell, because if he's let out he'll do it again. He deserves to die there."

The ex-girlfriend, now in her 50s, said Khannan became more controlling over the years and took pleasure in manipulating everyone around him.

"He was an extremely intelligent and talented man. He could turn his hand to anything," she said.

"But it was evil which he chose to carry out.

"I had no idea he was capable of such sickening crimes."

She finally ended their relationship after Khannan – also known as Michael Simon-Preston – was exposed as a convicted rapist by a national newspaper in 1986.

She added: "I feel sick knowing I lived with an evil man like that for eight years – I still have nightmares about him."

Durham Crown Court judge David Bryant adjourned Khannan's sentencing on Wednesday, but warned him he could face life. The court was told of a string of previous sex convictions.

* Michael Khannan wrote a letter of apology to Prince Charles after his predatory past was revealed by a national newspaper.

The former club singer and the Prince met in 1986 when Charles visited Tedco Enterprise Centre in South Tyneside.

By that time Khannan had been released from prison, where he served just over half of a six-year sentence for rape and two indecent assaults in 1973.

He changed his name to Preston and had set up a shed-making business.

When his past was exposed, Khannan wrote to Prince Charles apologising for any "embarrassment" the story may have caused him.